Jonathan Lewis, son of former
Progressive Insurance CEO Peter Lewis, is funding a new campaign
targeting President Barack Obama to sign an executive order
protecting LGBT workers.
Senior Obama administration officials
on Wednesday said the order which would ban federal contractors from
employment discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender
identity was not forthcoming. The order had reportedly already been
approved by the Departments of Labor and Justice.
Lewis, who is openly gay, told The
Washington Post that he would spend $100,000 to fund a We
Can't Wait campaign.
“This isn't a broken promise
President Obama can blame on Congress,” Lewis said. “He has not
been able to provide a single valid reason for why he is now refusing
to sign the executive order protecting LGBT workers. It has become
increasingly clear that this decision is based on cowardice rather
than principled leadership.”
White House spokesperson Jay Carney
insisted on Thursday the president does support such protections
but would prefer to see Congress approve the Employment
Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) sponsored by Massachusetts Rep. Barney
Frank and Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley.
“The president is committed to
securing equal rights for LGBT Americans, and that is why he has long
supported ENDA,” Carney said. “The approach we're taking at this
time is try to build support for passage of this legislation, a
comprehensive approach, to legislate on the issue of
ENDA, however, has little chance of
passage in the Republican-controlled House.